Melbourne, Dec 23: Brad Haddin has said that the Australian team will draw its inspiration from skipper Ricky Ponting, who is determined to play in the fourth Ashes Test despite a broken finger.
Ponting completed training drills without any dramas at the MCG on Thursday and the Australia captain will step up his bid to prove his fitness when he bats in the nets on Friday. Paying no attention to any criticism of the skipper, Haddin said Ponting played a key role in rallying the side for a confidence-boosting win in Perth last week to get back into the series.
"He's our leader and we get a lot of inspiration from him. He's been a great leader for Australia for a long time and especially with this group of players," The Age quoted Haddin, as saying. "You just have to see the turnaround we had from Adelaide to Perth to see the effect he has on the cricket team. It's very important that he plays."
After hurting his finger attempting a catch in the slips in Perth, Ponting appears set to move himself to a new fielding position for the fourth Test.
"He had a field and things pulled up well there. He's going to have a bat tomorrow and with a bit of luck all that goes to plan. At this stage the finger is recovering well and with a bit of luck he'll recover well for Boxing Day," Haddin said.
"We gained a lot of confidence from the way we played in Perth and now we look forward to the occasion of Boxing Day. It's a massive Test match, the MCG, maybe a world-record crowd (of 91,000) so from the players' point of view, it doesn't get any better a stage than this," he added.